Can you believe that IT has actually come? After a year long wait, your birthday is finally here. Your Mama was even starting to wonder if it would ever arrive!
But it did, and all too soon if you ask me.
And can you believe that you are now 5? I sure can’t.
I know I keep saying it. But it’s just such a big number. I’m making sure we are ready for it. Are we?
You were born.
What had been safely inside, I was now being forced to share with the outside. I was glad to share you. To meet you. To see you and count your fingers and toes. To see that Qualls’ chin and eyes and nose – nope, no Marcy there!
I wished you were still just mine. Like a nicely kept secret.
See, a lot had been swirling about. And one day I will tell you all about it. I can’t wait to share that story with you someday, when you are bigger, when you can understand. Because it was one of the most important times in Mama’s life. But for now, I’ll just say this…
I remember the day I found out you were in my tummy. I was feeling sick. I thought maybe I had the flu or something like that. I was nervous. I told Daddy that on the way home from church, we should stop and get one of those special tests, you know the one that tells you whether or not there is a baby in a Mama’s tummy.
I remember sitting in church. I remember the seat and the outfit I was wearing. I remember hearing the pastor speak and I remember what he said.
He said, “Sometimes God brings difficult circumstances into our lives as believers. But it’s ok. Even if we don’t understand why, even if it doesn’t feel that it could possibly be coming from God, it can still be ok. Because he loves us, and there is a purpose, and it’s going to be ok.”
So I held on tight and told myself that. It would be ok. No matter what.
And you know what? It was. Because God did have a purpose. That purpose was you and the work He would begin through you.
The night you were born we had been at Nana and Papa’s house, do you know why? Because it was MY birthday too! And Nana had fixed a big meal to celebrate. I remember sitting at the table trying to enjoy all the yummy food, but I just couldn’t. Because my labor had begun and I knew it would be soon.
When we got to the hospital I was excited to hear that Dr. Fontana was on call. Because he was the same doctor who delivered me when I was being born! And because it was my birthday, it was 25 years ago to the day. I kept telling all the nurses that it was my birthday and that Dr. Fontana had delivered me too. Everyone was pretty excited.
Well after waiting for a long time (because you were sunny-side-up remember) you finally arrived and they laid you on my chest and I cried. I always do when I meet my babies for the first time. You were covered in white and you were crying and I loved you from the very first moment.
Did you know that God named you? Because Mama and Daddy had a real hard time thinking of just the right name and we needed a lot of help. There were a few names swirling around, but we just didn’t know which one would be right for you.
After you had been born and we were all looking at you and the nurses were wiping and sucking and rubbing you, one of them tried to take you off of my chest. But as the one nurse began to lift you off of me, the other nurse shouted, “Wait! He’s still attached!” Your cord hadn’t been cut yet.
I looked at Baba who was standing right next to me and she smiled. Later I asked Daddy, “Did you hear what she said? She said that he was still attached.”
Why was this important? Because that is exactly what your name means, to be attached.
So we knew. Levi would be your name.
Later I would understand even more why the meaning of your name was so important.
That’s the really special thing about God, Levi. He speaks to us. We can’t always hear His voice like you can hear mine or Daddy’s. But He speaks to us just the same. That’s why we read the Bible together. But He doesn’t only use the Bible to speak to us. He is a great BIG God and uses all sorts of fun ways to speak to His children.
But this time, it was through the Bible that God spoke to Mama. I was reading in Genesis, you know the very first book of the Bible. The same book that talks about creation and Noah and Abraham and Issac and one of your favorites, Jacob. And that’s exactly the part I was reading. That story about Jacob.
Jacob had a wife and her name was Leah. And she wasn’t very happy. In fact, she had been really, really sad. But God was kind to her and kept giving her sons, because children are blessings from God.
I was reading and reading and then I came to the part about her third son and I stopped. Do you know why? Because her third son she named Levi too! How had I not remembered that? I thought it was pretty cool that we had both named our third child the same name. And do you know what? The meaning of your names meant something special to Leah in the Bible too. She said, “I will name him Levi, so that I will be attached to my husband.”
God had a special plan for her Levi. Leah wanted to be happy, to make her husband and family happy. And God was going to use her Levi to help her do that.
And you know what? God had a special plan for MY Levi too. He would use you in the same way to attach us all together. To bring joy and healing and great happiness to our family.
When I read that part in Genesis I knew that God had spoken to me in that special way that He does. He was telling me that He saw and understood. That He had a plan and would take care of us, because He is a caring God.
You are an important little guy, my Levi. God had a special plan and purpose for you from the very first moment you entered this world. I want you to always remember that. To know and believe with all your heart that you are special and that God loves you. That He sees you and is using you to accomplish great things.
And your daddy was so good at staying up with you when you had your days and nights mixed up.
|This is you smiling at your Daddy|
And somehow you fit in so well. And we all asked ourselves how we had ever gotten along without you!
There’s that word again.
How did it go by so fast? I look back at pictures and videos and remember how crazy it was and I really felt that it would be that way forever. But everyone kept telling me that it wouldn’t. Somehow I just didn’t believe them!
But now I do. And I want to hold onto every single moment and put a brick on your head to keep you from growing any bigger. And post a sign on the door that says “NO GETTING BIGGER ALLOWED!”
But I know that that’s impossible and it’s not even right.
I have loved watching you get bigger.
You were the best ‘cheeser’… Every time you saw the camera come out, it was an immediate “CHHEEESSE!”
I love your funny sayings, like, “Mom, what should I do with this booger? It’s a giant one.”
And I love your “what if’s”. Like, “Mom, what if a man flew up to the moon so he could roast a marshmallow on the sun? Wouldn’t that be cool?”
I love how stubborn you are. How LOUD you can be! That you want to always be apart and included… anything from helping in the kitchen to doing school work.
I love that you always tell me I smell nice. Even when your version of ‘smelling nice’ is smelling like chicken or ketchup or hot dogs. Do I really smell like hot dogs??
And I have loved watching you watch the new baby grow in my tummy. You were the first to tell me how ‘fat my tummy was getting’ and you love putting your hand on my belly to see if he’s awake. I can’t wait to see you as a big brother. It’s a big responsibility! Are you ready for it?? I think you will be.
I am so proud of you, my Levi. Thanks for showing Mama how to laugh, how to let go and for teaching me that sound effects really are appropriate in every situation.
You truly are a gift. The best birthday present a Mama could ask for!